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When policy advisors cannot reach a consensus

Otto Swank (), Wilko Letterie () and Hendrik van Dalen ()

Social Choice and Welfare, 2000, vol. 17, issue 3, 439-461

Abstract: In this paper advisors are selected by two ministers with conflicting interests in order to (1) acquire information, and (2) obtain political legitimacy concerning a project. In the end, parliament decides whether or not the project, of which the consequences are uncertain, is implemented. In principle a minister wants to appoint an advisor whose preferences are similar. However, since the advisor needs to convince the decisive player in the model, the minister may appoint an advisor whose preferences are closer to those of the agents to be persuaded. We also show when polarised advice occurs (the advisors have different preferences) and when consensual advice occurs (they have the same preferences).

Date: 2000-05-02
Note: Received: 29 June 1998/Accepted: 26 May 1999
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